Netflix has really outdone themselves in 2020 with the releases of hit new shows and movies. From the award-winning movie “The Irishman” to the highly talked about and social media frenzy documentary “Tiger King”, Netflix is slowly releasing gem after gem. During this pandemic, people are literally drooling over anything and everything related to some kind of content to keep their minds busy. Netflix has seen this and taken full advantage. I will be the first to congratulate Netflix on creating this masterpiece and as always, looking ahead to the future.
The Outer Banks is just another addition to those masterpieces. The action packed, full of mystery, teen drama was arguably one of the best shows I have seen on Netflix in a long time. It’s 10 episodes, a little less than an hour each, that will keep you engaged and full of suspense through each episode. The show is centered around the real life geographic area dubbed the same name as the title at the edge of North Carolina.
The plot is centered around this guy: John B
John B. is played by actor Chase Stokes who hasn’t been in anything significant from what I can tell. What is very interesting about this guy is his age in real life. He is playing a 16 year-old kid. He is 27 in real life. Crazy, but that’s beside the point. John B. is in a struggle to remain out of foster care. His mother left him and his father when he was young and his father went missing at sea hunting for a missing ship a few months prior. His uncle was supposed to be taking care of him, but went away to go work and hasn’t been seen or heard from in quite a while. As he struggles to stay independent, he also struggles to keep his friends close and his “enemies” even closer. Oh, and he’s also the narrator of this show.
The residents of the Outer Banks are split into two social classes. The “Pogues”, which are led by John B., and the “Kooks.” The Pogues represent the working-class people of the island. They live and work the water and have for generations. The Kooks are seen with their big beach houses and fancy yachts. The two groups despise each other so much that both groups would rather go to war with each other than say “hello” when passing by.
Kie (Madison Bradley) is technically a Kook as she comes from a wealthy family whose dad owns a successful restaurant. She used to be best friends with Sarah Cameron, the princess of the Kooks, but despises them now even though her family wants her to be a part of the high society.
Pope (Jonathan Davis) is the brains of the Pogues. He is arguably one of the smartest 16 year olds I have ever seen on TV. His big thing is to get out of the Outer Banks and go to college on a merit scholarship. His family plays a tremendous role in his aspirations.
JJ (Rudy Pankow) is John B.’s best friend and probably the most loyal guy you will ever meet. He has a rough upbringing as his father is an alcoholic who beats JJ, but JJ still maintains his sense of belonging to the Pogues and acts as a guy they can rely on even when he cannot be the most reliable.
The Kooks are centered around the Cameron family. The Cameron’s live in this really nice mansion on the more up-scale part of the island. Ward (Charles Esten) is a wealthy business owner who fathers two of the other main characters Rafe (Drew Starkey) and Sarah (Madelyn Cline). John B. is also an employee of Ward’s, working on his nice boat doing whatever. Sarah is dating one of Rafe’s friends, Topper (Austin North). Topper and Rafe’s group of friends are the main Kooks who despise the Pogues. Rafe also has a drug problem and continues to disappoint his father who keeps getting his son out of trouble.
Back to the plot. So John B. and the Pogues, not too far into season 1, discover a strange chain of events that led them to believe the missing ship John B.’s father was after, contained an absolute fortune of gold. Well, these kids aren’t the only one’s who figured it out. After the disappearance of one of the islanders, the Pogues finding a sunken boat, and a body being washed up on shore after a hurricane, this gets really interesting. The Pogues soon learn that this missing ship, the Royal Merchant, contains $400 million worth of gold. To a group of kids who can’t seem to get any sort of electrical power after this hurricane because they’re too poor, they will be set for life and living the “Kook lifestyle.”
The local Sheriff, Peterkin, and her trusted (but not so trustworthy) deputy get mixed into this somehow. Soon after the kids discover the sunken boat and decide to take matters into their own hands, John B. dives down and discovers a key. That key leads the gang to a motel room where John B. and JJ discover a safe that contains a boat load of cash and a pistol. JJ and his infinite wisdom decides to take the gun when the “trusted” deputy shows up and “searches” the room but takes some money instead.
The episode closes with the Pogues going to a place called “The Boneyard” which makes me think of where the hyenas live in “The Lion King.” They decide to throw a kegger. This whole island must not I.D. or these kids have some great hookups because there is underage drinking in practically every episode. Anyway, the Kooks decide to crash this where Topper and his jerk off, prep boy personality decides to start a fight with John B. As Topper is starting to gain the upper hand, JJ takes the gun he stole and puts it to Topper’s head. Let the games begin.
John B. decides to steal scuba gear from his boss Ward in order to investigate the sunken ship. He finds a compass that his father had. Big John scratched “Redfield” on the inside giving John B. another clue and giving John B. even more hope his father is alive.
Soon after this discovery, two men who look like hired guns are coming up on the Pogues. This ends up becoming a boat chase through the marsh as the two men open fire on the Pogues, but these kids somehow get away.
The Pogues then go to Big John’s home office where there is a butt ton of information about the Royal Merchant. Unfortunately, the two bad guys somehow find out where John B. lives and break into the house. The kids then escape the office and hideout in a chicken coop where JJ is forced to kill a chicken so it doesn’t blow their cover. Real classy.
John B. comes to the conclusion that “Redfield” actually means the Redfield Lighthouse where him and Kie meet this weird lighthouse keeper (if that’s an actual thing). Everything goes smooth until the lighthouse man acts funny and radios in the cops. John B. is then caught by the Sheriff Peterkin after the bad guys try to chase him. She convinces John B. to give her the compass in order to keep him safe. Maybe she is the bad guy?
Remember the scuba gear John B. stole from Ward? He goes to return it early one morning only to be caught by Sarah who swears not to tell anyone. Unfortunately, Sarah’s little sister was also on board who tells Topper. Topper then tells Ward who confronts John B. and fires him because he “violated his trust” or some bull like that. This infuriates John B. who lashes out at Sarah. However, you can’t help but feel there is some sort of chemistry between the two.
The episode closes with John B. realizing that “Redfield” actually refers to one of his ancestors. He and the rest of the Pogues meet at a cemetery where Kie climbs through a hole into a tomb. Something causes her to say “oh my god” and the episode closes. On to episode 3!
It turns out Kie said “oh my god” to a FedEx envelope. Wow. What’s so fantastic about this FedEx envelope? On the inside was Big John’s map of where he thought the Royal Merchant was (he literally drew an X), and a tape recorded message to John B. just moments before his disappearance.
The Pogues discover that the ship is 900 feet below sea level and all they need is an underwater drone. Conveniently, they know where to get one and concoct a plan to retrieve it. Once they have the drone, they then head to Kie’s dad’s restaurant to get some food. It’s pretty evident that Kie’s dad does not approve of her friends but no one seems to care. Kie and John B. have a moment while dancing (he kissed her a while ago sorry I missed that) but nothing comes of it.
While all that is going on, Topper is completely wasted and jumps off a roof into in a pool while holding Sarah. The guy does not quit. After that, he gets pissed off after Sarah gives him a case of the blue balls which causes him to go downstairs and do coke with non-other than Sarah’s brother, Rafe. Anyway, the next morning Sarah goes to John B. to tell him that she never told a single soul about the scuba gear incident. Again, I am going to emphasize the #chemistry between the two.
The Kooks get worse and worse. When Pope is trying to deliver groceries for his father, Rafe and Topper decide to jump him, almost killing him. JJ convinces Pope to retaliate and sink Topper’s really nice family boat. Not a good idea for the guy who could be the smartest guy alive.
Now, it’s time to go find the ship. With JJ driving the boat, the other three work with the rover to locate the ship. Oh, on top of this stressful situation, a storm is coming in. There is always a freaking storm on the Outer Banks. Unfortunately, before the episode ends, we are not able to see if they found the boat.
They found the ship! But no gold. Which was the whole reason for all of this commotion. When things couldn’t get any worse, Child Protective Services is waiting for John B. when he gets home. Somehow, he gets away from them and runs into Sarah who helps him evade them.
Sarah then takes John B. to her home, Tanneyhill, to help John B. clean his wound he got when he was running from CPS. While at Tanneyhill, Sarah takes John B. into her father’s, Ward’s, study where John B. notices a painting of a black man hanging on a wall. Sarah informs John B. that the guy in the painting is Denmark Tanney, a free man who owned the island way back when. Somehow, John B. is a genius and remembers his name as being on the Royal Merchant when it sank and there were reportedly no survivors.
Sarah tells John B. that Ward donated Denmark’s diary and other records to the archives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Well the two decide to sneak on a ferry where it is so humid, they are forced to take off most of their clothes. Wow, could have seen that coming. It’s embarrassing at this point. Anyway, they start looking at the papers in the archivesand John B. confesses why he wanted to look at them.
The other three Pogues are at a movie event where Topper and Rafe are. At this point, Topper and his pee-sized brain figure out that Pope was the one who sunk his boat and start a fight behind the projection screen. Kie and her infinite wisdom decides to light the screen on fire to distract everyone and end the fight.
Around this time, two bodies are found in the marsh. It turns out to be the two men who were chasing John B. While it looks like they had been eaten by fish, the coroner tells the Sheriff he thinks they were killed by someone wielding a gaff hook based on similar markings on both bodies. So, the bad guy is still out there.
The next morning, John B. and Sarah get back to the island in the pouring rain. Where did they stay the night? I guess that doesn’t matter. But they’re back and a spark is lit between the two. John B. professes his love for someone he just hung out with for a day and they kiss. Happy Day.
Except for JJ taking the fall for Pope when cops arrest him for sinking Topper’s boat.
The last thing we see is someone putting stuff away including the compass and a gaff hook.
This episode begins with JJ’s father beating the shit out of him for the restitution he owes. When JJ’s father passes out from being drunk and high, JJ points a gun at his head and starts crying. This is where I begin to think that JJ could be a really good kid if his dad wasn’t such a train wreck.
John B. next has a teacher, who seems like really cool guy, translate a letter John B. and Sarah took a picture of from the archives at UNC. The letter was from Denmark to his son the day Denmark was going to be lynched for buying slaves and setting them free. The translation reveals where John B. believes the gold is supposedly buried.
Sheriff Peterkin then goes to where the mysterious person is (the one with the compass and gaff hook) and tells that person they are even now. So, is Sheriff Peterkin bad? Wait and see.
The Kooks put on a “Midsummers” beach party at the country club where Ward is to win an award. Sarah doesn’t want to go because she wants to break up with Topper but Ward basically says suck it up and it can wait until tomorrow. Sarah starts acting weird around Topper at this party so he does the best thing possible and follows her around. He sees JJ slip her a note from John B. and follows her outside where she is kissing someone. Topper asks her who she was meeting but Sarah is a horrible liar. JJ gets trapped by Rafe and the bro gang but escapes with the rest of the Pogues to their hideout where John B. tells the gang Sarah is involved now to Kie’s displeasure.
Sarah leaves the party and sneaks into Ward’s office where she tries to finds a map of the property when Denmark Tanney owned it. She finds it but is caught by Ward who asks her what she is doing. Again, Sarah is a horrible liar and Ward sees right through her. Once she leaves, Ward opens a safe behind the Denmark Tanney painting and pulls out the compass John B. had! Holy shit! Ward is the bad guy. It all makes sense now. Case solved.
Not quite. So Sarah meets John B. at the top of this old wooden structure. Almost like a lookout tower. And a drunk Topper shows up and sees them smooching. Topper staggers to the top of the tower and literally shoves John B. off the tower and to the ground! The Pogues show up and Kie sees Sarah kissing John B. right smack on the lips and is FUMING! If that’s not absolutely whack, John B. just has a concussion and broken wrist from that fall, AND Ward decides to take him in as his guardian! What the hell is going on!
After Ward makes things awkward and says Sarah and John B. cannot be in each other’s rooms (like that’s a thing they will follow), the Pogues work to figure out where Parcel 9 is, the place where John B. thinks the gold is. Parcel 9 looks like a jungle with a big, old, and creepy house in the middle. An old lady lives at this house and legend has it that she killed her husband with an ax. So, naturally, it’s smart of the Pogues (plus Sarah now) to sneak in to her basement to find a well where the gold could be.
On the flip side, $400 million worth of gold is pocket change for Kie because she’s still pissed at Sarah and refuses to help. So, instead of having John B. choose one or the other, the boys leave them stranded on a boat where it is learned Kie was salty about not being invited to a party and called the cops. Wow. That’s so freaking petty. They made up and everyone is good to go.
On another note, Rafe gets the shit beat out of him by the mean drug dealer (told you we would be back) because Rafe doesn’t have the money to pay him. Topper then goes to Sarah’s house to confront Sarah about her relationship with John B. (brilliant idea) and ends up calling her a SLUT! In her own house! Where the evil man of the Outer Banks lives. Great idea, Top. Well, Ward actually overhears this and grabs Topper by the throat, picks him up off the ground, and slings him out of his house! Total boss move.
Ward then finds Rafe searching for money in his hidden safe because he’s psycho and that’s what happens. Ward then DRIVES Rafe to the drug dealer’s house, pays him Rafe’s debt, and proceeds to beat the living hell out of the drug dealer. Rafe sees his dad doing this who basically calls him a loser and to not come home. Ward is now 2 for 2 in boss moves.
The very next night, it’s treasure hunting time! Except for one problem, they have to sneak into the house without waking up the old, crazy lady. Everything is going smoothly until John B. discovers a human jaw bone in the well (she IS a killer) and wakes up the old lady who is blind and proceeds to try and kill the whole group with fire stoke and a shotgun. That doesn’t stop John B. who HAS FOUND THE GOLD in a secret tunnel in the well! Mission accomplished…sort of. The old lady chases the group out who celebrate John B. finding the gold.
This episode starts with Ward eavesdropping on John B. and Sarah saying he found the gold..big YIKES!
So now, the Pogues melt down the gold so they can pawn it. Turns out, the head hancho at the pawn shop is, in fact, the drug dealer who Ward almost killed. The Pogues don’t take the deal from the pawn shop, and leave only to be pulled over on the way out. The cop, turns out to be drug dealer, who holds the group at gun point and looks for the melted down gold. Somehow, the Pogues fight back and over power him and the drug dealer is once again beat up. JJ takes his license to figure out where he lives, the Pogues go there, and JJ steals $25k in cash (enough to pay restitution for sinking the boat). His dad has other plans with the money which sparks a fight between the two. JJ gains the upper hand and tells his dad he isn’t afraid of him anymore. JJ ends up buying a hot tub and bunch of lights for his friends instead. At this point, your emotions are flying and JJ is your best friend.
John B. and Sarah go to the top of a bell tower where Sarah confesses she usually runs away from boys when she gets this close. However, they end up doing it, or so we think, which doesn’t make a whole of sense but whatever. Congrats.
That next morning, John B. and Ward go fishing at literally 3 am. Who the hell goes fishing at 3 am for fun. See, Ward is a whack job. Ward starts drinking so he can ask John B. about the gold. Ward says he is impressed John B. actually found the gold but John B. denies it. Ward is pretty much like “Yeah, ok buddy. We’ll play that game.” Ward then goes into a lot of detail of how John B. needs his help in figuring out the logistics in getting all the gold. However, he slips. He mentions Redfield. Ding! Ding! Ding! The only way Ward would know about Redfield is if he had the compass. John B. starts the boat back to shore with Ward coming up the ladder with a gaff hook.
Alright. We’re back to the boat. Ward is losing his mind chasing John B. and trying to silence him forever. Things aren’t going too well for John B. and his broken arm, however, he manages to escape when he gets a jet ski off the board. After he is out of sight, Ward takes an arrow and shoves it in his bicep to make it look like John B. shot him. This guy is a nut case.
John B. meets up with the wife of the guys who disappeared and learns the truth behind his father’s disappearance. One night, Ward was telling Scooter that “it was an accident” and “he didn’t mean to do it.” Well, apparently, Ward and Big John were out on a boat figuring out where the Royal Merchant was. When Big John reveals he thinks he knows where it is, he also reveals that he is not comfortable with splitting the profits 50/50. Instead, he proposes 20% because Ward hasn’t done enough work. A shoving match ensues and Big John falls, hits his head on the side of the boat which starts bleeding, and passes out. Ward, that bastard, DOES NOT call for help and dumps Big John in the water. Apparently, Big John SURVIVES and makes it to shore but dies later, or so we think. This explains why Scooter found his compass and the Sheriff found his glasses.
Anyway, John B. gets pissed and rushes to get the gun to go shoot Ward. Well, instead, he just tells Sarah everything he knows and goes back home. Very anti-climatic. He goes back to get the gold, but it’s gone. Ward got to it. Anyway, Pope interviews for his scholarship but runs out when he realizes that gold is pretty freaking heavy and his dad was helping Ward at the airport! So the Pogues head to the airport where they see Ward forcing Sarah onto an airplane.
Just when John B. stops the plane, Sheriff Peterkin rolls up and tries to arrest Ward after getting the scoop from Scooter’s wife but is SHOT by RAFE! What the beep! Rafe literally has such big daddy issues that he kills the SHERIFF. Now, Ward is able to use this against John B. and make it seem like he killed the Sheriff.
Because Ward’s plane left with the gold, John B. is now on the run for something he didn’t do. Pope starts smoking weed, AND he more than likely lost his scholarship. Crazy times for this kid. The Pogues take John B. to Sheriff’s office so he can tell them who shot the Sheriff, but, of course that doesn’t go as planned. Why would it? John B. ends up getting the hell out of dodge when it is radioed in that he is the shooter.
Rafe begins to spiral because that’s what he does. Ward locks Sarah in her room because he is absolutely psycho. And Pope confesses his love for Kie when he is high as a kite. What’s not to love?! Oh, did I mention there is now a full MANHUNT out for John B.? He almost gets caught when Topper and his friend lock him in a laundry room but he magically escapes after telling Topper how he feels about Sarah. Wow.
Sarah convinces her little sister to let her out of her room and cover for her as she goes to meet John B. at the bell tower. They definitely did it there because there is no way in hell they both coincidentally meet there. Anyway, Topper shows up and rings the bell to get everyone’s attention but does something “to show Sarah he loves her more.” He dresses like John B. and distracts the cops while the two escape! Yeah, I don’t get it either.
John B. and Sarah hideout in an empty home but John B. wakes up alone. Apparently, Sarah went to go to the small army that is now hunting for John B. to tell them the truth. But of course, of all people, WARD IS THERE! However, Ward is acting like a concerned father when she says that Rafe killed the Sheriff. Ward says she is bipolar and hysterical and all that but this agent is smart af and wants to talk to her. But Sarah is gone, she ran away.
The rest of the Pogues come up with a plan to get John B. and Sarah out of the Outer Banks and to Mexico. JJ will get the keys to his abusive dad’s really nice boat without waking him up and getting the tar beat out of him. Luckily, he succeeds. Pope will get a punch of gas after almost getting into a fight with his dad who is upset about Pope running out on his interview. Kie gets into a fight with her mom about all of this and the storm that’s coming.
Next, Rafe is spiraling again and busts into the drug dealer’s trailer looking for coke. The drug dealer doesn’t have any but wants to get his money from the Pogues who stole it. So, the two of them find the Pogues at a dock and start beating all of them but the Pogues somehow win that fight by the time John B. arrives in a POLICE CAR. He does show up without Sarah though, as they got separated. He gets the car when he goes back for the gold at his house and thought it was a great idea to steal it from under the cops noses. As John B., is getting away, he links up with Sarah and Kie kisses Pope! Who would’ve thought this would end perfectly?
It doesn’t. Remember the storm? Well, that becomes a problem. As John B. and Sarah are making their getaway, Ward radios in and says that everything will be fine, just come to the shore. John B. basically says hell no, you killed my father, and I will come after you. John B. and Sarah exchange a few cringe lines and the boat capsizes.
In the morning, John B. and Sarah somehow survive and are picked up by a passing boat who tells them they are going to Nassau. The same place where Ward at the gold flown…Who’s ready for Season 2 already?!